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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What have walking and food got to do with art? What have walking and food got to do with art?

Nuno Sacramento

Exposure

2007

If instead of a gem, or even a flower,
we should cast the gift of a loving thought
into the heart of a friend, that would be
giving as the angels give.
George MacDonald
A project exploring commonality through the legacy of Huntly born writer George MacDonald

While developing the role of Shadow Curator with Deveron Projects, Nuno played a significant role in the development of projects during the 2007 George MacDonald festival.

What is the relevance of George MacDonald today? Not only to literary academics and lovers of Victorian writing, but to the people of Huntly? People leave the town and do something more or less significant during their lives. George MacDonald is exemplary of the Huntly resident who has a strong connection to the town as well as a far-reaching influence, whether that is marked by a legacy of inspiration or a journey that has taken the resident far away from their hometown. How far does the influence of Huntly reach in the modern world, and to what extent is it a global community? What does the local presence look like?

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The idea to create a composite photograph made up of all of the people, young and old, who have attended, or are currently attending, the Gordon Schools was deceptively simple. Having called for participation through the Huntly Express and national media, the response was overwhelming, with 200 families and individuals flocking to the school (in some cases for the first time in decades) to become part of the photograph. Participants arrived from all over. Demonstrating that Huntly extends beyond its geographical border the town's stories and people have travelled far and wide, just as the tales of George MacDonald have done. Those who were unable to attend the day's event (emails came in from Canada, South Africa, US, France, Germany, New Zealand etc), and had supplied signed consent, were represented in the photograph by a George MacDonald dummy, which showed that despite any apparent separateness, a common bond always exists in the community. The final product of the event was, on one hand, a snapshot of community spirit that defended the people of the rural community against accusations of rootlessness, while the day was also an opportunity for chance encounters and the uniting of old and new friends. There was also the chance to hear about the life and work of George MacDonald, listen to his stories, watch the animation The Princess and the Goblin, buy a book from the George MacDonald Society, join the Gordon Schools Alumni society and to enjoy the lunar eclipse that night during the folk-song performances. A lecture was also presented about Mcs and Macs in Scottish art by Murdo Macdonald.

     

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